Stepping stone

Dear readers,
My name is Dan Hoehne and I am from Duluth, Mn. Last year and the year previous, I played Junior ‘A’ hockey for the Borderland Thunder under head coach Dave Allison.
My two years of playing junior hockey in Fort Frances was a life-changing, memorable experience that has brought me many rewards. In saying this, I feel obligated to thank the people involved in the Borderland Thunder organization who first believed in me and then gave me the chance to excel both on and off the ice during my two-year period in Fort Frances.
I first would like to thank the Thunder organization for their professionalism, individual self-sacrifices, and dedication in bringing Junior ‘A’ hockey to the area, and making many young men’s dreams come true.
I personally would like to thank Coach Allison for inspiring me to better myself as a person and a hockey player. It was his wisdom and guidance, along with the assistant coaches, that allowed me to become the young man I am today.
I would like to thank Couchiching Chief Chuck McPherson, Brent Tookenay, Shawn Jourdain, and the rest of the Thunder management for giving me a chance to show my talent and to lead this class organization for the past two years.
I would like to thank my wonderful billet family—Shane, Jennifer, Erika, Amber, and Tommy Jourdain—for taking me into their home and treating me like their very own son, and also for teaching me valuable life lessons along the way.
I would like to thank the members of Couchiching First Nation for supporting the Junior ‘A’ hockey club for the past four years. Remember that you are providing an opportunity for our future stars of the Thunder from your community by supporting the club.
And last but not least, all the fans in general from Fort Frances, Couchiching, and surrounding areas. Without the fans, junior hockey would not be possible.
In closing, I would like all the readers to know that through the Borderland Thunder organization, and especially Coach Allison’s wisdom, I have furthered my career through hard work and dedication, and also from Dave Allison’s contacts in the hockey community.
I now play full-time in the semi-pro league of the UHL and I am the starting goalie for the Muskegan Fury (
I earn a modest income and still get to play the game that I love, and this was all made possible through my Junior ‘A’ career with the Borderland Thunder.
It just goes to show that from my perspective, the Borderland Thunder is indeed a stepping stone for dedicated hockey players who want to excel into semi-pro, pro, or college careers in hockey.
And that this league, and especially this team, deserves a round of applause for providing this opportunity for young adults. Thank you very much!
Dan Hoehne (#30)
Muskegan Fury